News

Court told 'guilt' was the reason Pastor fled

AN IPSWICH pastor "had a guilty passion" for the best friend of his 12-year-old daughter an Ipswich jury has heard.

Crown prosecutor Sal Vasta yesterday told the court the 51-year-old man, who is standing trial for raping and maintaining a sexual relationship with his daughter and her best friend in 2004 and 2005, had an "unnatural sexual attraction" to the friend.

An Ipswich jury yesterday heard the closing arguments from Mr Vasta and defence lawyer Geoff Seaholme.

The man, who cannot be named so as to not identify the girls, has pleaded not guilty at the Ipswich District Court to a raft of child sex offences including rape and maintaining a sexual relationship.

Mr Vasta told the jury the evidence of the best friend had remained uncontradicted by sworn testimony throughout the trial.

He said the man had admitted to buying the girls sex toys and lingerie and to touching the genitals of his daughter's best friend while he was conducting an affair with her mother.

Mr Vasta said the only explanation for the man fleeing to the Northern Territory for seven years was guilt.

"He had not yet been charged with anything of a penetrative nature but he knew it was coming," he said.

"So to use the American vernacular he got out of Dodge.

"What other reason is there for running away other than that he knew he was guilty?"

Mr Seaholme, however, said the testimony of the girl was a "fanciful" story and claimed she needed to stop testifying due to "panic attacks" whenever she was caught in a lie.

He said allegations the man had tied the two girls up under the house and repeatedly raped them over the course of one night "beggars belief" due to the number of times the girl claimed it occurred.

He said the girl's claim she was raped every time she went to the man's house was "unbelievable."

"This is a story," he said.

"Not a very well scripted story because it's so over exaggerated it becomes unbelievable."

The jury has retired to consider its verdict.

Topics:  ipswich district court, maintaining unlawful sexual relationship, rape




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